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AISES Professional of the Year Award: Dr. Wendy Smythe

Wendy Smythe
August 27, 2019

AISES Professional of the Year Award 
Dr. Wendy F. Smythe (K'ah Skaahlauwaa) (Alaska Native Haida)

The Professional of the Year Award is selected based on overall leadership and technical achievement, and the remaining five awards are made based on achievement in specific categories.

The 2019 Professional of the Year award is presented to Dr. Wendy F. Smythe (K’ah Skaahlauwaa), an Alaska Native Haida who is a Technology and Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Wendy F. Smythe works with Indigenous communities to couple STEM discipline with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in K-12 education. Through her work, she seeks to increase the number of Indigenous people represented in STEM disciplines, increase diversity and innovation, and teach the next generation of Indigenous leaders.

She has a dual PhD in both Environmental Science and Engineering and Estuary and Ocean Systems from Oregon Health and Science University. Two years ago, she founded the Geoscience Foundation Education program in her tribal community of Hydaburg, Alaska in collaboration with the tribe (Hydaburg Cooperative Association) and the Hydaburg School District. In the fall of 2019, she will be joining the University of Minnesota Duluth American Indian Studies Department, as a tenure track Assistant Professor, as the first scientist to join the department leading the new Masters of Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship program.